Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Every night before they go to bed, Elijah and Luca play “Fireman Sam.” They pretend to be the accident prone characters from Luca’s favorite Welsh TV show. Heroic Sam, asexual Penny, the menace Norman Price, and everyone else from the idyllic seaside town, Pontypandy.

The other night, the boys’ usual playmate, Diana (she does a mean Penny) was at work, so I volunteered to play.

“Dada! I’ll be Sam and you be Station Officer Steel!” Luca enthusiastically said. Eli volunteered to be Penny. Gender issues aside, I was excited to play. But I quickly realized Luca and Elijah have vastly different views of playing “Fireman Sam.”

LUCA: Let’s pretend Norman Price is stuck on a boat, Dada!

ELI: Let’s pretend you shot me with a gun but I didn’t die.

LUCA: Norman! Don’t be scared! I’m Fireman Sam!

ELI: I saw you shoot me, Station Officer Steel. I’m going to get you.

LUCA: You be careful, Norman.

ELI: I’m going blow up a bomb in your hands so you can’t shoot anyone else.

LUCA: Let’s go back to the station and have some stew!

ELI: I’m going to stick your head in the stew, Station Officer Steel.

I finally had to break character and tell Eli to cool it with the violence. This is “Fireman Sam” not “CSI: Pontypandy.” He responded like he always does when he brandishes his finger like a pistol.

“It’s just pretend, Dada.”

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